Monday, October 17, 2011

Taiwan's Progressive Candidate for President

Dr. Tsai Ing-wen
Tsai Ing-wen is all about equality, and she's not afraid to fight for it.

As leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Ing-wen is a top contender for the presidency of Taiwan, and campaign season is in full swing in the country widely known as Asia's most progressive and gay-friendly.

Taiwan remains the only Asian country with nationwide anti-discrimination protections in place.  The first, banning sexual orientation discrimination in education, was passed by the Yuan (Taiwanese parliament) in 2003.  The second, which banned discrimination in the workplace, became law in 2007.   Additionally, LGBT rights issues have been a part of high school curricula since the passage of the Gender Equity Education Act of 2003.

When it comes to transsexual rights, Taiwan allows post-operative transsexuals to change their sex on government-issued IDs, as well as marry in their new sex.

On the issue of same-sex marriage, a marriage equality bill was drafted in 2003, but parliament failed to take action on the measure.  Many Taiwanese, especially those aged 35 and younger, are calling for the issue to be revived as a matter of fairness and equality.  Same-sex marriage has been a factor in the presidential race this year.

According to Ing-wen:
"We need to work harder to defend the rights of all sexual minority groups.  There is nothing wrong with any sexual orientation or marital status, and no one has the right to question others."
The DPP has also stated in its party platform that it will actively push to revise laws that are discriminatory to people with non-mainstream gender identities and sexual orientations.  The party has announced that it will release a more detailed framework on promoting gay rights in a policy white paper prior to the election.

How a nation treats its LGBT citizens is a clear indicator of the society's overall progressiveness, as well as an indicator as to whether or not it takes human rights seriously.  It's my hope that Taiwan can take a proud stand for increased LGBT rights, including marriage, and can show the way for its Asian neighbors -- including the nearby Philippines.

Many polls have shown a neck-and-neck race, while the latest poll puts Ing-wen behind incumbent president Ma Ying-jeou by just 3%.  With 16% of Taiwanese still undecided, it's anyone's race.

All the best to Taiwan for a progressive future, and good luck to Tsai Ing-wen in the January 2012 election!

Source:  Taipei Times and China Post


Post a Comment

Please be decent and respectful, and please post all comments in English so that everyone can understand. Thanks!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...